Legacy is built daily. The Bezos Family.

This weekend I watched this cool fireside chat between Jeff Bezos and his brother. Watch it in one sitting rather than in pieces.

Daily, before I leave my bedroom for the day I stare at this post-it note that says "legacy is built daily". It is a powerful reminder.

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It goes well with "Bezos Day 1 policy", or the discipline that I see Sequoia Capital insert in their companies, with their anti-shortcuts approach, mixed with daily paranoia, Grove style.

It reminded be of the importance of family and world exploration.

It made me think that I need to venture out a bit more and not stare at my phone so much.

I doubt that Bezos would have quit his Wall Street job if he didn't have such stellar grandparents that thought him grit from a young age.

Nobody becomes this wealthy and powerful by accident.

Also, I love his approach to dating.

"I want a woman that can break me out of a third world prison".

Same.

Don't ask for introductions if the VC turns you down

It drives me crazy when founders don’t understand how the world works. Once a week, right after a formal turndown, I get a founder asking me if I can introduce them to other investors.

This is a weak and stupid ask.

As some of you know, I believe in long-term alignment of interests, "funeral style."

It is how the venture business works. It is how humans work. Everyone has an agenda, even if it is a subconscious one.

A big part of our work as investors is to make introductions to our portfolio companies, friends and partners.

In business, it is better to have full-stack support or no support at all because weak links will destroy you and your company over time.

At ONEVC, we write US$250–500K checks in US$2–3M seed rounds.

We end up being a relevant, sizable investor, while not being able to take care of your financing needs. Because of that, we are experts in syndicating your round and prefer to be the first or, at most, second check in your round.

We believe in making decisions out of conviction and independent thinking.

Because of that, it is key that when we send a double-opt-in for a deal to other investors, they know that we have our reputation and LP capital behind that intention.

This is true alignment of interests.

Anything outside of that scope is weak and speculative. Given the high level of imperfect information in the seed world, great investors can't afford to help people that they are not interested in investing right now.

A weak, non-aligned intro it will hurt your startup and your reputation. As soon as another investor tells me about a company, my first question will be: have you invested already? If the answer is anything but a yes, it shows weakness.

As a founder, if you can't understand this business principle you are too naive for the business world and I hope that this post helps you.

It is more important to grasp why you are being rejected — which is why at ONEVC we are always thoughtful without turndowns — rather than trying to get more introductions from people that are not interested in aligning with you right now.

If you are rejected, don't suffer. Try to understand why and move on.

Exception to the rule:

There are times in which an introduction to other investors is applicable.

For instance, if you are too early or too late for the stage we invest. Maybe I know angels, accelerators or growth firms that can be helpful — often we make these intros.

Another situation is when you are in a market that we don't make investments, but we happened to have met, such as energy or satellites.

It might take 18 years for your IPO

Today I finished reading an excellent memoir.

Shoe Dog, the recently published book by Phil Knight — Founder and Executive Chairman of Nike — is a fantastic read that demonstrates how challenging it is to build a massive, global business.

I lost count how many times Nike was in a near-death situation during the book. How many times they were cash constrained due to working capital requirements. The global fights against factories, distributors, piracy and even the US government. They are fighters.

Nike avoided their IPO as much as possible. I did not know that it took them 18 years to get there, but it was a necessary stepping stone for them to be around for the long term. Think of it as an old school version of a Unicorn graduation. Their IPO happened at the same $22/share price of Apple, and they went public in the same week. It might explain why Nike and Apple always had a friendly relationship.

Phil is honest with himself during the book. Mostly about the fact that he probably wasn't a heavenly father while building Nike. He talks about the difficulties of prematurely losing his son in a diving accident. I salute him for his openness on this complex topic. Sometimes these business memoirs expose little vulnerability, making them pasteurized tales of how one wins in life. Nobody needs lessons like that.

If you are a founder or investor, do yourself a favor and read this book. It will help you understand that when in doubt, you shall hustle more. Its all about "The Grit" and not running out of cash at the end of the day.